Like Stand Up MN, Fulton has started out of a garage! This is their story:
We started homebrewing together in 2006 in Jim’s one-car garage. Our first brew was on a -20 degree February day. As we huddled around a turkey burner (both for warmth and because the garage was so small) we talked about how cool it would be to brew beer for a living.
Over evenings and weekend during the next few months, we built a three vessel all-grain brewery capable of 10 gallon batches. Before long, we were pushing the limits of Jim’s one-car garage, so we moved to Pete’s two-car garage. Our beers got better and better, and we started to research the business side of brewing.
Then, in early 2009, an opportunity presented itself. Ryan was looking for an internship, but having absolutely no luck. Suddenly, the “what if” discussions were no longer hypothetical, and we starting having “we could” conversations instead. Before long, we sat down (around homebrews, of course) and decided this was our chance to make our hobby into a career.
In retrospect, it seems crazy. We had no money, no industry experience, and no connections. Ryan and Jim were both in debt up to their ears from graduate school. Peter and his wife were expecting their first child. Ryan had just gotten married, and Brian and Jim were both getting married later that year. Logically, it made no sense. All we had was passion and some good homebrew recipes.
By fall 2009, we’d formed our business, scraped together as much money as we could, landed a distributor, and found a contract brewery. We started brewing at Sand Creek Brewing Company in Black River Falls, Wisconsin.